Grief has taught me to allow myself time and space. But I don’t always listen.
When I don’t, it is made on my behalf and memories flood my soul and I see images through the filter of time and love…5 years ago, I was waiting on my sister to come home as I counted my mother’s breaths. I was still nursing and I recall Elena trying to play her tapping game with Mami. Except she didn’t yell in the mock pain that made Elena giggle. I remember Robiaun on the phone asking me to give her a kiss on her behalf. I remember putting my head on my father’s lap and closing my eyes.
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I recall time slowed down as we attempted to pack as much of it as we could hold in our hands.
I remember the feel of her hand inside my own. The great shoulder pain I experienced afterward and realizing I’d spent most of the night propped up on my elbow lying next to her.
Most of all, I remember feeling incredibly blessed and humbled to have spent a night in vigil.
Oh and who remembers the delirious party planning Mami was doing?! That was the best!
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If you don’t know that there is a certain joy in death, come sit by me and I’ll tell you a story. Joy is tied to dignity, to peace and to love. In the end, it is all that we have and all that we take.